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West Indies cricket stars back prostate cancer campaign

International cricket star Chris Gayle has backed an East Midlands campaign to prevent prostate cancer by urging men to hit the condition for six.

The West Indies batsman has given his support to the #PlayDominoTalkProstate initiative launched by the Leicester-based Centre for BME Health.


Statistics show one in four African Caribbean men will develop prostate cancer at some point in their lives, compared to one in eight men from other backgrounds.


Pamela Campbell-Morris, a Project Assistant and Community Champion at the centre, gave a presentation about the condition to players and staff from the West Indies international cricket team. It was delivered on Tuesday, June 4, at a Nottingham hotel they are staying in while competing in the Cricket World Cup, which is taking place in England this summer. Pamela’s friend Ricky Bramwell set up the presentation. He said: “I was really amazed at how engaged the guys were.”


Chris Gayle said prostate cancer was “very important” and he thanked Pamela for giving a “pep talk” about the condition.


He said: “Check your prostate, please go and get tested, we want to hit prostate for six, OK, go and get tested for prostate cancer.”


Captain Jason Holder was among the stars from the team to share messages urging people to get tested. Additionally, team manager Rawl Lewis pledged to get to tested as soon as he gets home.


Wayne Francis, 49, from Leicester, also spoke to the cricketers, sharing his story of how he was diagnosed two years ago having been aware of the condition because his dad Bernard was also treated for prostate cancer.


Pamela also had a meeting with former West Indies fast bowler and current Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh, urging men not to be scared and get tested for the condition.


The campaign was launched in March last year with the free Play Domino, Talk Prostate event, which took place at Moat Community College, aimed at raising awareness of prostate cancer among African-Caribbean men and supporting those diagnosed with the condition. The event focused on the game because of its cultural significance.


In April 2018, Pamela and Sylvester Constant AKA the ‘Cat’ talked to Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth about prostate cancer and the Centre’s work to raise awareness of the condition. They played dominoes together during the meeting. To view their chat, click here.


A short awareness film supported by ProstAID and local men has also been released.


The Centre for BME Health is working to reduce health inequality in the region by sharing resources and promoting research.


The Centre is funded by the University of Leicester and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East Midlands.


NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands is a partnership of regional health services, universities and industry which turns research into cost-saving and high-quality care through cutting-edge innovation.


Professor Kamlesh Khunti, who is the Director of the NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands and is also Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester, said: “Latest figures available from Prostate Cancer UK revealed there were 11,819 deaths from prostate cancer in 2015 compared with 11,442 from breast cancer. This is the first time in the UK that male deaths from the disease have overtaken female deaths from breast cancer. We are working to address this concerning trend through #PlayDominoTalkProstate, it is vitally important that this risk is highlighted.”


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